All things must pass

October 4, 2010   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

This week saw the announcement that David Higgins is to leave the ODA in early 2011 to take up a post as Chief Executive Officer of Network Rail. David leaves the ODA in good shape, the facilities to stage the Games will be constructed on time, within budget and to exemplary sustainability standards. It is true that many challenges remain but the team David leaves behind are highly competent professionals with capacity to resolve them in an appropriate and timely manner. Taking on a project of this magnitude requires a highly pragmatic and single minded approach. David could have seen the sustainability agenda and the intervention of an independent commission as an unnecessary distraction but he did not. He considered sustainability to be one of many business objectives to be delivered through a world class management process and he gave appropriate attention to the subject. I met David informally every six months and more frequently in our formal reviews and reporting programmes. I found him decisive and dynamic, he got things done. He is single minded and needs to be persuaded by a strong case to divert from his planned course of action. However, I can point to several examples …